Updated on 10/19/2011 10:24AM

Woodbine: French filly Sarah Lynx dominates Canadian International at 22-1


ETOBICOKE, Ontario — French invader Sarah Lynx  became the first filly or mare to win the Grade 1 Canadian International since 1988 on Sunday at Woodbine, when she stormed home on top by four lengths over last year’s winner, Joshua Tree.

Sarah Lynx ($46.90) saved ground throughout under Christophe Soumillon before taking the lead early in the stretch, and then drew off to complete the 1 ½-mile  distance over yielding turf in 2:34.90. She earned $900,000 of the $1.5 million purse for owner Mrs. Robert Ehrnrooth and trainer John Hammond.

“I drew [post 1], which was a good sign, because she likes to be inside of horses,” said Soumillon. “She was very relaxed in the race, and she has a good turn of foot.”

By winning the International, a Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In event, Sarah Lynx earned a fees-paid berth into Grade 1 BC Turf on Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs.

BREEDERS’ CUP CHALLENGE: Racing schedule, replays, and past winners >>

Kara’s Orientation set moderate fractions, with several runners in close proximity, but they all retreated in the stretch while the accomplished Europeans rallied. Joshua Tree finished two lengths clear of Irish Derby winner Treasure Beach, who was the 7-2 favorite. Arctic Cosmos outran Quest for Peace for fourth in the record 16-horse field. Musketier finished ahead of all the other local runners in sixth, while the lone U.S. shipper, Rahystrada, was a fading 12th. 

Assistant trainer Kate Bradley said Sarah Lynx was also under consideration for the Grade 1, 10-furlong E.P. Taylor Stakes on the same card, but the choice was made to run her in the International instead because of the longer distance, and because of the availability of Soumillon, who rode her to victory in a Group 2 stakes last August in France.

“She’s done exceptionally well since coming here,” said Bradley. “We’re just over the moon. She annihilated the colts. She’s not an easy filly, and there’s not very much of her, either. We were a bit worried that she’d get rushed up or boxed in, because she drew the rail, but she’s exceedingly  tough, and she held her own really well.”